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Sveum: Castro’s mistake is “the last straw”

Jun 5, 2012, 8:49 AM EST

Starlin Castro AP

Yesterday Starlin Castro lost track of the number of outs in the fifth inning of yesterday’s game and allowed the Giants to score what proved to be the winning run. After the game, Cubs manager Dale Sveum has put Castro on notice:

“It’s the last straw.  If he wants to play, he better start getting his head in the game. Period … It’s not acceptable.  These things got to stop happening or we’re just going to stop playing. These are things that my son does in high school – maybe.”

Something tells me that the son of a former big leaguer and current big league manager wouldn’t make that kind of mistake, actually.

As for Castro: he apologized to his teammates after the game. But still: dude is not a rookie anymore. And there are too many decisions to be made at shortstop to allow for that kind of bubbleheaded crap.  He really needs to shape up.

Oh, and one small quibble: unless Sveum actually benches Castro now, this was technically the penultimate straw at best, right?

  1. dexterismyhero - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Bench his butt.

    Ozzie Guillen likes Castro though.

    • toosano - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      So the guy can play but apparently he’s a dumbass.
      Not sure why his team mates can’t clue him in. Even in HS we used to yell it out so there was no mistake.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Fashion him a glove with an abacus built in so that he can keep track of the outs.

  3. notadumbblond3 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I swear if I hear one more Reds fan talk about how we need to see what the Cubs want for Castro and then make the trade, I’m going to lose my mind. This is exactly why I don’t want that clown on my team. Sure he can hit, but he’s a liability on defense and apparently can’t count. We already have a great shortstop in Zach Cozart. I will take him all day everyday, and twice on Tuesday over Starlin “oops there was only one out” Castro.

  4. diehardcubbiefan4life - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    holy SHIT WHY IS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL? ITS CUZ ITS CASTRO. ITS CUZ ITS THE CUBS! I REMEMBER FOR A FACT THAT RICKIE WEEKS DID THE SAME EXACT THING ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO AND NO ONE SAID A WORD ABOUT IT. LET IT REST. DONT GIMME ALL THIS ROOKIE CRAP. YES, IT WAS A BONEHEADED PLAY. YES HE DESERVES A DAY OR TWO ON THE PINE. JUST LET IT GO! DAMN

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      Psst, your caps lock is on….thought you might want to know.

      FWIW, this is a big deal because 1) MLB players rarely forget how many outs there are (in part because that information is posted everywhere in the stadium and people yell it out loud all the time), 2) it arguable cost the Cubs the game, and 3) Castro is supposed to be a future cornerstone of the franchise, which is hard to be if you can’t be bothered to focus for a few minutes while in the field and this is far from his first bone headed play.

    • ceadderman - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Ummm dude, did Weeks team get swept as a result? No? The Cubbies did.

      Thanks you Cubbies. Now the Giants are 3 games out and are building some momentum. Very much appreciated. :)

  5. mybrunoblog - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    I like Sveum. I really do, however I just can’t help thinking WWSD? (what would Sandberg do)

    • thomasgarvey - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      I can guess… he would NOT just be shaking his head, like Sveum. Castro would be benched at least two days, and he would have done one day (at least) last year when Castro was looking into outfield stands while his pitcher was delivering to the plate.

      • thomasgarvey - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM

        and Soriano IS poisoning the rookies on attitude. I, too, was wondering what the Yankees were doing when they cut the shore line on him years ago. Now we know.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        Are you sure they weren’t just getting the best player in baseball at a discount? Soriano could have been a model teammate and that was still the best trade they’ve made this side of Ruth.

  6. larryboodry - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    I agree that Castro needs to stop with the bonehead plays already, but unfortunately his bat is too valuable to lose out of our weak lineup for more than a day or two…And for what it’s worth, that fifth-inning run only TIED the game…Carlos Marmol allowed the ultimate winning run in his usual fashion, two walks and a hit.

  7. jkcalhoun - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I think Sveum lost count of the straws.

  8. istillbelieveinblue - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    The previous regime in Chicago deserves some of the blame for this. The kid was rushed through the major leagues, skipping AAA altogether. He had less than 1000 AB’s in the minor leagues in only 264 games played. He had nearly 40 errors and a .933 fielding percentage the full season at AA before he was called up, and I don’t think bonehead plays like yesterday’s count towards that total. He would have benefited from AT LEAST one more season in the minors. Look what the Cubs are doing with Rizzo right now. He still needs work defensively (though he has shown a lot of improvement) and he still strikes out a bit too much. Leave him down there, let him mature and work on the weak spots.

    • Ben - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      That’s all well and good. But he has 1400 PAs in the majors. It’s on him now.
      2400 PAs between the majors and minors is enough to keep track of the number of outs.

      • hasbeen5 - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        24 PAs in little league is enough for that.

  9. braddavery - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Even with his idiocy on the field, he ranks as the 5th best fielding SS this year on FANGRAPHS? What the?

    • headbeeguy - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      He’s the classic guy that does small, less noticeable things right (e.g., he has very good range) but also makes a few very memorable mistakes (bad errors, forgetting outs). He nets out to an above average shortstop, even if watching him makes you want to bang your head against a wall at times.

      • sabatimus - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Having good range is LESS noticeable? I’d say having BAD range is less noticeable in an infielder (c.f. all those Jeter gold gloves….)

  10. xpensivewinos - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    It would appear as though what Sveum has done is put Castro on Double-Secret Probation. I’m pretty sure that’s the straw right before the last straw.

  11. hermitfool - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    A little dab of Ritalin with his corn flakes every morning might just fix the problem.

  12. thomas2727 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I read an article that really struck a cord with me on Castro. The writer speculated that if the Cubs don’t change him now. He could end up being another Alfonso Soriano. Can you imagine Castro making $15 million per season in a few years and still making such dumb mistakes?

    Another reason to cut bait with Soriano earlier than later. His lazy refuse to hustle and don’t care attitude has to be rubbing off on young guys like Castro in a bad way.

    Soriano has to be one of the dumbest veteran players I have ever seen. Get rid of him now. Everyday he stays just let him be more of a bad influence on young Cubs players which will only hurt them in the future.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      When the Yankees parted ways with Soriano, I was asking what the hell they were thinking??? That question has since been answered.

      • thomas2727 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        I remember watching Soriano in the playoffs. I think it was 2002 or 2003. It seemed like he struck out like 20 times on sliders a foot outside. I thought who ever gets this guy is a sucker.

        Plus Jim Hendry was not paying attention when Soriano refused to change positions on Washington. That was a huge red flag.

      • kkolchak - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        Same with the Nats…when the Cubs offered Soriano $50 million more in free agency than the Nats offered him to stay, it was an easy Sayonara. Plus, the Nats drafted Jordan Zimmermann with one of the compensation picks. :)

  13. bluesfan58 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    This guy may have some level of talent somewhere, but literally every time we have a chance in our area to see the Cubs play, Castro looks totally bored or distracted on the field. I see no fire in this guy’s eyes at all. One game last year, he was looking out towards left field or the stands (or something) with his BACK TURNED to the plate, and his glove off (holding it in his right hand), while his pitcher was THROWING A PITCH. Several times in the same game, he looked as if he wasn’t even paying attention. Although I didn’t see the event described in this article, nothing about it surprises me.

  14. Max Power - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    You gotta admit that the manual scoreboard at Wrigley Field is kinda hard to read.

  15. chumthumper - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    (Juke box playing in background)…”Give me one more last chance before you say we’re through.”

  16. streatordave - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    I was livid at that bonehead play. I wanted the manager to just walk out & pull him in front of everyone. You play stupid = You don’t get to play. Same feeling about Soriano dogging a single & throwing the ball for some reason to second base while the SF guy was scoring from 1st.
    There is a lot of stupid on this team & the players should be pulled from the game when they do stupid things….immediately! BTW Nice pitching except for Marmol, who really needs to go away.

  17. rico7207 - Jun 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Deep down you know this kid is saying ” what can you do about it, I have a union, so trade me, I still get paid and everyone wants out of here any ways.” Trade me please!!!!!!

  18. bradmoss1 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I seriously wonder if he’s ever been checked for Adult ADD/ADHD.

  19. friarjack61 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    First: Players around the field, notify each other as to how many outs there are.

    Second: If a player does not know, how many outs, he was either not paying attention to the other players, or not paying attention to the game.

    Lastly: Castro is not a professional talent. Many people who have played that position, are wondering how that guy got into the majors ? He is NOT good, and has never been any good, consistently. He’s a D Class player, period. TOO immature, and without much talent.

    • jeffbbf - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      yeah, I suppose most major leaguers are shaking their heads wondering how a guy who ” has never been any good, consistently. He’s a D Class player, period. TOO immature, and without much talent” led the NL in hits at age 21, has a .304 career BA and a career OPS+ of 105, and is only 22. Oh yeah – he was named to the all-star team at age 21 and was 23rd in the NL voting for MVP. Congrats. You just made Castro look smart by comparison.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Friar: You were illustrating your point(s) very well until you got to the last point. When I read your last point I immediately discounted everything you said and thought…”Coocoo…Coocoo.”
      The dude can flat out hit. Take a look at his numbers since arriving in the Big Leagues and get back to us. Dude can flat out hit.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        Edit Function: Make that…”cuckoo…cuckoo.”

  20. friarjack61 - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Bench him, and then get rid on him. Too much REAL talent in the colleges, and they most likely, speak English, and can understand, “one out”; “two outs” !

  21. Old Gator - Jun 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Someone that dense might make a fine DH, even if he isn’t gimpy yet. You would just have to remember to keep shouting out the balls and strikes to him.

  22. Nick Alaga - Jun 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    I would say drug test him, but they only look for performance enhancing drugs and that doesn’t seem to be an issue here.

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